Phonefinder isn’t in the business of simply finding phones, no that’s too easy. Instead Phonefinder tackles the frustrating problem faced by millions of South African’s every year – the problem of choosing the best cellphone contract deals that suit their budget and needs.
In doing so, Phonefinder is able to identify the trends that arise in cellular contract purchase decisions. With there being a plethora of contract phone deals available, the competition between the four big networks has heated up and each network now has to speak one language: Value.
Data Deals Dominate
In the new ‘always on’ era, cellphone users have put their focus on mobile data and with good reason. These day’s cellphones have put the world at our fingertips and the boarding pass is data.
The four big networks (Cell C, MTN, Telkom Mobile and Vodacom) have all taken heed of this revelation, especially after all the media attention around the exorbitant costs of data in South Africa, spawning the hashtag #datamustfall. However, some networks seem to have done a better job than others at giving cellphone users what they really want.
Telkom Mobile is definitely leading the pack in terms of speaking the value language, having used their FreeMe deals to capitalise on the needs of consumers. According to the findings from Phonefinder, Telkom Mobile’s FreeMe 1GB continues to soar in popularity amongst South Africans, accounting for 39.18% of all cellphone contract deals purchased over the last three months. That puts Telkom Mobile miles ahead of its closest competitor, Vodacom’s uChoose Flexi 110 with 9.25%. Not too far off Vodacom’s strongest contract contender, is MTN with the My-MTNChoiceR200 on a 36 month plan making up 6.71% of cellphone contract deals purchased.
Top Up Freedom
While prepaid customers enjoy the freedom to top up their data, airtime and SMS balances at will, contract customers too, want to enjoy some of this freedom. More often than not, the value provided in a contract, especially the allocated data allowance, does not stand up to the usage requirements of the customer. By simply providing the customer with the option to enjoy the benefits of a fixed cost contract plan, along with the flexibility that prepaid offers, networks have tapped into another factor driving cellphone contract purchase decisions.
Unsurprisingly, Telkom Mobile still leaves all the other networks wanting, with the FreeMe 1GB TopUp bundles, available to contract customers as well as prepaid customers. What differentiates this offering is the considerable value it holds and the two markets, prepaid and contract customers, being able to access and benefit from it. While Vodacom perseveres with the uChoose Flexi offerings and MTN does the same with My-MTNChoice, they’re still not close enough to worry Telkom Mobile. Perhaps marketing has played its role here, coupled with intrinsic value, seeing Telkom Mobile hitting the nail on the head with “FreeMe” which immediately speaks to it being more than just a cellular offering.
More Bang, Less Buck
While the cost of living continues to go up, most consumers are finding it hard to keep up, which has a direct impact on their purchasing decisions, regardless of product or service. In this case, network providers have begun to come to the party, but a lower price does not a better deal make. It’s what is included in that deal that makes the most difference and ultimately becomes the deciding factor.
It has already been established that South Africans are paying too much for data, so the networks still have a long way to go, and by only now slashing prices and entering into price wars, it isn’t quite enough. Consumers want value-adds on top of the standard value offered; they want to feel like they are getting something that is affordable, but well worth it. They want to have the years of feeling like they were taken advantage of to be compensated with a better deal, they want more bang and less buck!